Author(s): Mosevitsky MI
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Abstract Mechanisms of growth cone pathfinding in the course of neuronal net formation as well as mechanisms of learning and memory have been under intense investigation for the past 20 years, but many aspects of these phenomena remain unresolved and even mysterious. "Signal" proteins accumulated mainly in the axon endings (growth cones and the presynaptic area of synapses) participate in the main brain processes. These proteins are similar in several essential structural and functional properties. The most prominent similarities are N-terminal fatty acylation and the presence of an "effector domain" (ED) that dynamically binds to the plasma membrane, to calmodulin, and to actin fibrils. Reversible phosphorylation of ED by protein kinase C modulates these interactions. However, together with similarities, there are significant differences among the proteins, such as different conditions (Ca2+ contents) for calmodulin binding and different modes of interaction with the actin cytoskeleton. In light of these facts, we consider GAP-43, MARCKS, and BASP1 both separately and in conjunction. Special attention is devoted to a discussion of apparent inconsistencies in results and opinions of different authors concerning specific questions about the structure of proteins and their interactions.
This article was published in Int Rev Cytol
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics